Tuesday, October 13, 2015

For the Long Run

MARK 10:35-40
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you." And he said to them, "What is it you want me to do for you?" And they said to him, "Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory." But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" They replied, "We are able." Then Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared."

I join James & John asking:
Lord, I want you to do for me
whatever I ask of you.

And you say with love:
"What do you want me to do for you?"

I want...
well, I guess...
I'm not really sure what I want.

When I pray for peace,
and that doesn't seem to come.
When I pray for happiness,
that too seems to elude me.
When I pray for the church's commitment,
well, you've seen the attendance lately.

I guess what I most want
is to make a difference.
That's the drive that got me into ministry:
to make a difference.

But not just me,
What I really want
is for the congregation I serve
to impact the community
in life changing ways
for the good of the least of these.

And maybe you turn to me
like you did to James & John saying:
"You do not know what you're asking.
Are you able to drink the cup & be baptized
like I was, like they were?"

To which I can only say:
I hope so.
I'm trying; we're trying.

I hope you answer:
"Yes, you are. Yes, you will.
But you may never know the impact
the church is making in this life.
Keep on being faithful.
Remember what Friedrich Nietzsche wrote:
"The essential thing ‘in heaven and earth’ is . . .
that there should be long obedience 
in the same direction;
there thereby results,
and has always resulted
in the long run,
something which has made life worth living."

So Lord,
today I put on my marathon shoes.
The life of faith is a long run,
and you are my running partner.
So when you're ready, Lord,
let's go.

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